I took my seat on the back row of the T. Austin Finch Auditorium in Thomasville NC on Saturday January 22nd for the Crabb Family celebration/reunion concert. There was a full line-up of talent including several regional artists. Highlights in order of appearance include:
*Crystal River – I might as well get my complaints out-of-the-way first. I wish the emcee/promoter of the event would’ve left off all that local talent and allowed the main acts more time. Crystal River came from Winder GA to sing four songs (no second half performance). Cory Beeler of the Beelers joined Tony and Ben for the performance Saturday night. The group performed “Jesus Wake Up”, “I Stand In Awe”, “Mercy Always Finds A Way” and Cory performed a solo song he wrote with only piano accompaniment.
*Jeff & Sheri Easter - I have seen Jeff & Sheri at least a half-dozen times within the last year. Their song list didn’t stray too far from the last several performances. They included “Life Is Great And Gettin’ Better”, “Love Remains”, “Born To Climb”, “Workin’ On A Road”, “Hear My Heart”, “I Need You More Today” and ”Praise Your Name”. Jeff & Sheri also had Logan Smith traveling with them during the weekend. This is the young kid who attempts to sing like Vestal Goodman. Forgive me for being over critical but this kid’s ‘schtick’ is up when he hits puberty.
*Gordon Mote – One word; impressive. Gordon has traveled with the Homecoming tour for some time now and has been an established studio player in Nashville for many years. He is a performer. His piano talents are unrivaled and vocal talent is easy on the ears. “When I Lift Up My Head”, “Don’t Let Me Miss The Glory”, “I Can’t Even Walk”, “Pray About Everything, “Mercy Walked In” and “Old Gospel Ship” were included in his performance. Gordon stayed out and played while Jason Crabb sang his song “Ellsworth”.
*Bowling Family - From all appearances it looked as if Jason Crabb was supposed to close out the individual segments with a solo set. Instead he gave that time to the Bowling Family, which I was happy to see. One of the main reasons I went to the concert was to see the Bowling Family again. They only did four songs but this is when the entire program started to change from a concert to more of a worship experience. They opened with “Your Cries Have Awoken The Master” and glory fell in that auditorium. They continued with “A Miracle Today”, “Thank You Lord” and “That I Could Still Go Free”.
*Crabb Family – Aaron was not along on this trip and Crabb Revival (as a group was not there) but Adam was. Jason’s band backed up Jason, Adam, Kelly and Terah as they went through the Crabb Family catalog of songs. I do miss the Crabb Family. The live music, the excitement from the stage and the powerful performances really set this group apart and I was glad to re-live that experience if only for one night. The crowd was receptive from the first song and didn’t let up until their performance ended over an hour later.
I know some would like to shy away from talk of the spirit of the Lord actually moving in a concert event. I know most would argue that a concert setting is not the place for it. It has been some time since I felt the spirit move on me in such a way at a Southern Gospel event. I was blessed to see young people praising the lord. That is the main reason I enjoy sitting on the back row of a concert event. I am able to take in the entire concert experience from the stage to the audience.